Rugby World Cup 2019: Springboks have some Ferraris of our own, says Le Roux

By Sports Desk October 16, 2019

Willie le Roux is confident South Africa have enough speed of their own to cope with Japan's "Ferraris".

That was the nickname given to Japan fliers Kenki Fukuoka and Kotaro Matsushima by head coach Jamie Joseph, whose side have been the surprise package on home soil at the Rugby World Cup.

Japan's attacking brand of rugby yielded shock wins over Ireland and Scotland, the latter seeing the Brave Blossoms top Pool A to set up a quarter-final with the Springboks, who they upset in the group stages four years ago.

South Africa are no slouches themselves, though, with Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi providing pace and threat out wide.

Le Roux, who brought laughter among the press pack by describing himself as a "bakkie" – a type of pickup truck – is eager to face the challenge.

"We've definitely got a few Ferraris out there as well," Le Roux said. "I don't think I'm one of them – I'm more of a bakkie person – a Toyota bakkie.

"The guys who will play this weekend are fast, and if I get an opportunity to play as well, I will do my best to put them away and put them in space."

The 30-year-old full-back is expecting a daunting challenge against Japan's varied attack.

"For the back three, it is going to be very hard work," he added. 

"They put all those kicks in and have specific guys chasing. They are very fast out wide, chasing those balls.

"The guys playing in the back three will have to be awake and be alive to those kicks."

Related items

  • Waratahs beat Force to go second Waratahs beat Force to go second

    The Western Force's wait for a first Super Rugby AU victory goes on after they were beaten 28-8 by the Waratahs on Friday.

    Michael Hooper celebrated his 150th Super Rugby game with a victory at Cbus Super Stadium, as the Waratahs outscored the bottom-of-the-table Force by three tries to one.

    The Force led twice in the first half courtesy of a Brynard Stander try and a penalty from Ian Prior, but Alex Newsome's try and 11 points from the boot of Will Harrison gave the Waratahs a 16-8 advantage at the break.

    There was no way back for the Force after the interval, Jack Maddocks' intercept try giving Rob Penney's side breathing space and Harry Johnson-Holmes crashing over in the closing stages on the Gold Coast.

    The Waratahs, who welcomed Rob Simmons back from injury, are up to second after securing back-to-back Super Rugby victories for the first time since March 2019.

  • Blues-Crusaders Super Rugby clash off after change to coronavirus restrictions Blues-Crusaders Super Rugby clash off after change to coronavirus restrictions

    Sunday's Super Rugby Aotearoa match between the Blues and the Crusaders has been cancelled following a change to coronavirus restrictions in Auckland.

    The decision comes after the government in New Zealand confirmed Auckland will remain at stage three of the country's COVID-19 protocols for 12 days, while the rest of the nation is at stage two.

    Consequently, the fixture – which was scheduled to be part of the final round of the competition at Eden Park – will be scored as a draw with both teams awarded two points.

    The match between the Highlanders and the Hurricanes at Forsyth Barr Stadium will go ahead without fans in attendance, with the kick-off time brought forward by four hours to 3:05pm local time to meet rules on teams flying in and out of cities on the same day to limit public reaction.

    Blues CEO Andrew Hore said: "10 weeks ago we never thought we'd even have a competition, let alone one with fans. 

    "But instead we got nine weeks of incredible rugby, with three amazing home games and massive crowds. 

    "While this news is disappointing, we need to take a step back and be grateful for what we got, what it meant to our players, our sponsors and, most importantly, to our fans."

    Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge added: "Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa has been a fantastic display of unity and togetherness for all New Zealanders. 

    "While it would have been fitting to finish our campaign in front of a full house at Eden Park, I think the rugby community can be incredibly proud of what we have collectively achieved over the last 10 weeks, and will understand that this decision has been made in the best interests of New Zealanders.

    "On behalf of the Crusaders, I want to thank all of our fans for their incredible support throughout the 2020 season."

    Chris Lendrum, New Zealand Rugby's general manager of professional Rugby and performance, said he understood the decision.

    "It's fantastic that the Highlanders-Hurricanes game can go ahead as one final celebration of Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa," he said.

    "On the flipside, we're obviously disappointed that the Blues-Crusaders match is off, but we all understand and support the government's decision around this.

    "Both teams have played outstanding rugby throughout the competition in front of packed crowds and, on behalf of New Zealand rugby, we want to thank all the fans for their support for not only those two teams, but all five of our Super teams. It's been incredible."

    The Crusaders wrapped up the title last weekend after coming from behind to beat the Highlanders 32-22 at a sold-out Orangetheory Stadium. 

  • Hatley promoted to Bath head coach role Hatley promoted to Bath head coach role

    Neal Hatley has been appointed head coach of Bath ahead of the resumption of the Premiership season.

    Hatley returned to Bath last year after three and a half years working under Eddie Jones as England scrum coach.

    He initially took the role of forwards and defence coach, but his promotion was confirmed on Thursday.

    Hatley said: "When I rejoined Bath, Stuart [director of rugby Hooper] was very clear about what we are trying to do at the club. Now as head coach at Bath, I'm responsible for field performance.

    "With my focus on delivering great performances on the pitch, it allows Stuart to focus on how we want to play and perform, making sure we are doing what we discussed in training and optimising everything we do.

    "As head coach, I want to make sure I get the best out of our players and that's a lot about building relationships, knowing they trust your leadership. I've set out very clearly how I expect our players to behave, how I expect them to train and how we expect to treat each other.

    "Not only is Bath an incredible city to live in but it's a rugby city through and through. I feel incredibly proud to be head coach at this club and believe me, we want to win silverware."

    Hooper said: "We're thrilled to confirm Neal as head coach. The director of rugby and head coach set-up has always been the route I want to follow. I believe it's the right way to get the best out of our people.

    "Bringing Neal back into our environment was about reconnecting, finding out how I can complement him, how he can complement me and how we can deliver the best programme here at the club."

    Bath face London Irish at the Rec on Saturday in their first match since the season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.